The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990 Page: 332
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tions. Yet perhaps General Reynolds was more realistic in his assess-
ment of the situation, no matter how mercenary his actions might seem
one hundred years later. In the words of the chronicler of the army's
role in Reconstruction, "the melancholy fact was that no amount of
troops could have prevented assaults on Negroes when the crimes took
place on remote stretches of country roads by disguised men." "
By 1869, then, little had changed. The Negroes were free physically
but destined to be reenslaved economically." In northeast Texas, Re-
construction blacks never had the chance to bridge the gap between
freedman and free man. Some of the blame can be attributed to the
unalterable racism of Texas whites, the practiced terrorism of gangs
like Baker's, the more casual violence of the Ku Klux Klan, and the im-
possibility of the situation regardless of the amount of force the gov-
ernment applied. Part of the fault, though, lay with the unsupportive
officers in the army's Texas command, the unimaginative staff mem-
bers of the state's Freedmen's Bureau headquarters, and disgruntled,
abandoned bureau field agents like Col. DeWitt C. Brown.
1'8Sefton, The United States Army and Reconstruction, 224.
69 For more on this point, in Texas, see James Smallwood, "Perpetuation of Caste: Black Agri-
cultural Workers in Reconstruction Texas," Mid-Amerca An Hustorcal Review, LXI (Jan., 1979),
5-23, and nationally, see Pete Daniel, The Shadow of Slavery Peonage in the South, or9o-r969
(Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1972).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990, periodical, 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/m1/388/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.